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Big Tech launch Project Protect to fight online child sexual exploitation and abuse

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Technology Coalition — a global group of 18 technology companies including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, PayPal, Snapchat, Adobe, GoDaddy and others — announced a new plan to combat online child sexual abuse on June 10. The plan, called Project Protect, will include multi-million dollar investment in Innovation Fund, a cross-industry technology that can fight child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) online; multi-stakeholder approach to dealing with CSEA where stakeholders will include governments, law enforcement, civil society, research centres, hotlines, first responders, social workers, educators, etc. For this plan, the Coalition has partnered with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (EVAC) and WePROTECT Global Alliance (WPGA). The Coalition will act as a resource for the whole technology industry in the fight against child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA). EVAC will head the research arm of the project and will be conducted and analysed independent of the Coalition and its members. As of now, the project is focussing on putting in place a structure for the Project, membership models and hiring. The announcement of Project Protect comes at a time when there has been an increase in the volume of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) created and shared online. India accounts for the highest number of suspected online child exploitation reports received by USA’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) CyberTipline. Of all the reports made to NCMEC by electronic service providers, Facebook accounted for 94% of them. Even in the UK, April 2020 saw a significant…

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